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Communications: Photocom

Subject Guide for Communications


When conducting research on Photocommunications, you will want to consult various sources:

Books & E-booksintroduction resource
      •  Books/E-books on famous/historical news photos
      •  Books/E-books on photography techniques
      •  Books/E-books on digital and new-media applications

      •  Articles in historic newspapers showing photos
      •  Articles in trade journals/magazines on photo techniques

      •  DVD documentaries on famous/historic news footage
      •  Art/Photo databases of famous/historic photos

Finding Books & E-books

To find books related to Communications, you will use the Library's catalog, OneSearch.  At the library's homepage, OneSearch is in the middle of the screen.  Choose the "Advanced Search" to the right; then choose "Books & Media (CSUF)" at the top. The example below shows searching for the keywords "Television Broadcasting."

Pollak Library One Search

computer SEARCH TIPS
There are many ways you can search for books.  If you already know a particular title or author, you can use the pull-down menu, at the left, to limit to title or author.  But if you just want to explore what's available, use these 2 ways to search:

Keywords: just type any word or words you want and it will display books (and their floor/shelf location) that match those words in the title or description.  For example:
      - news photography
      - photography techniques
      - famous photographs
Subject: after you do a keyword search and see books listed, find a book that is a close match to what you want.  At that book's display screen, you'll see some subject terms (or tags).  Once you know those terms, you can re-do your search as a SUBJECT search.  Then all the other books, also on that same subject, will be displayed.   To do a Subject search, pull the pull-down menu, at the left, to "Subject."  Here are some examples of subject terms:
     - Photojournalism
     - Photography Digital Techniques
     - Visual Communication


When you find a book on OneSearch, it will tell you the location. Books are located on either the 3rd floor north side, or the 4th-5th floors south side.  These floors are self-service--you find and retrieve books yourself; there is no library staff on those floors.  Books are arranged on the shelves by book numbers.  These book numbers are a two-letter+number code or "call number".  The two-letters stand for subjects.  For example, P87 is Mass Communication.  PN4699 is News Journalism.  HM263 is Public Relations.  For Virtual Fall 2020, no in-person access to the books will be available; instead, when you find your book in OneSearch, click the "request" button.  Your book will then be retrieved for you by library staff, and you will get an email when it is ready to pickup outside the library's south-side glass doors  (see here for the full procedure).


The library's OneSearch catalog retrieves both print books and e-books. When you see an e-book in your search, simply click it, and it will take you to a log-in page.  Your log-in is your same CSUF log-in (username & password).  You can access e-books 24 hours a day.  Some e-books allow you to download the entire book for offline reading later; other e-books do not allow this, and you can only read them while connected online (the difference is because different publishers have different rules).

Finding Articles

There are 2 ways to search for Communications-related articles:

ONESEARCH.  Although OneSearch is mainly used as the library's book catalog, it can also find articles.  It has a search feature that group-searches many of the library's databases at once. This can be helpful if you are looking for breadth: a lot of articles from a variety of journals.  However, the drawback to OneSearch is that it bombards you with a lot of irrelevant articles, and you have to spend time filtering the results to narrow it down.  To get to OneSearch, go the library's homepage, click on One Search's "Advanced Search", and choose "Articles" to begin searching.


DATABASES.  Databases are collections of articles that the library subscribes to.  We have a database that specializes in communications articles, but also databases specializing in related fields: cinema, theater/performing arts, business, etc.  The databases have more search settings than OneSearch: you can search multiples keywords, set dates, limit to certain publications, and more.  So they are your best choice for precise searching.  To get to the databases, go to the library's homepage, choose the "DATABASES" icon at the upper left, and then choose either (a) your major, for a recommended list of databases, or (b) the name of a specific database, A-Z, to go to it directly.


Keywords: Type in keywords of what you want (for example: journalism and censorship).  A list of articles will then come up.  If you see the full-text (a PDF or HTML icon) next to any on the list, great!  You can click and read the full-text immediately.  If no full-text is displayed, then then click on the blue "Find it" button () and a pop-up window will appear referring you to where you can get the full-text.

Subjects: Although using keywords is convenient, keywords can often bring up unrelated articles, since they may appear anywhere in the article.  A more precise way to search is to change your search box to a SUBJECT search, and type a word.  This will look for articles entirely about that word, not just find that word randomly.   For example, an article about corporate communication, not just an article that has the word "corporate" and "communication" somewhere randomly in it. 


The library has many videos relating to COMM.  For example, training videos, documentaries, broadcast recordings, and more.  The library has videos in 3 formats: streaming, DVDs, and VHS.

STREAMING.  The library subscribes to streaming videos from several vendors (Kanopy, Alexander Street, etc.)  To find streaming library videos, simply search the library's OneSearch search engine, just like you would for a book (either exact title, or keywords).  You can refine your search results to streaming videos by limiting to "video" on the left sidebar. 
DVDs. The library also has many physical DVDs.  These are kept at the library's Circulation Desk (first floor, south side) for check-out.  These are also searchable on OneSearch, the same way (titles or keywords), using the left sidebar to limit to "DVDs".  
VHS. Although VHS videocassettes are an old/undesirable format, the library has kept some VHS tapes that are related to COMM.  These tapes are also available for check-out at the Circulation Desk (first floor, south side) and searchable on OneSearch.  Equipment to view these tapes (VCR players) is available in rooms, on the fourth floor north, which can be reserved at the Circulation Desk.  Due to Fall 2020 being virtual, in-library viewing of VHS tapes will not be possible.  Please email John for alternate viewing options.

Communications Librarian

John Hickok's picture
John Hickok